Plymouth College of Art
Welcome to Plymouth College of Art
Plymouth College of Art is a specialist, independent art school offering a range of study across Art, Design and Digital – from BA (Hons) Degrees and MAs to Extended Diplomas, Foundations and more.
Study here and you’ll be taught by highly skilled tutors and supported by expert technicians. Our commitment to our students is second to none, in workshops, studios and beyond. Our tutors won’t just set assignments and leave you to get on with it. Open and approachable, they’re committed and involved in the whole college community, living and breathing art. As practising artists, they know how important it is to trial ideas and share expertise. They understand what it takes to develop a portfolio or prepare for an exhibition. They also know it’s essential to be able to think practically as well as creatively. Our course leaders arrange for industry to set and assess real-life briefs, helping students to understand how to succeed in business – without compromising creativity or integrity.
Courses and fees
We offer a wide range of courses and programmes – from BA (Hons) degrees, to MAs, as well as Pre-Degree courses such as Extended Diplomas, Foundations and more.
Our three-year BA Honours degrees demand an energetic and inquisitive approach to critically underpinned practice, which is central to all the programmes. As well as producing practical creative outcomes to a range of projects and live assignments you will also be expected to contextualise your ideas culminating in the writing of a dissertation which is often very influential on the development of practical work and vice versa. Find a list of all our undergraduate courses below:
- BA (Hons) 3D Design Crafts
- BA (Hons) Animation
- BA (Hons) Ceramics & Glass
- BA (Hons) Commercial Photography for Fashion, Advertising & Editorial
- BA (Hons) Contemporary Media Practice
- BA (Hons) Costume Production & Associated Crafts
- BA (Hons) Creative Advertising & Brand
- BA (Hons) Design
- BA (Hons) Fashion
- BA (Hons) Fashion Media & Marketing
- BA (Hons) Film
- BA (Hons) Fine Art
- BA (Hons) Game Arts
- BA (Hons) Graphic Design
- BA (Hons) Illustration
- BA (Hons) Interior Decoration, Design & Styling
- BA (Hons) Jewellery
- BA (Hons) Painting, Drawing & Printmaking
- BA (Hons) Photography
- BA (Hons) Printed Textile Design & Surface Pattern
- BA (Hons) Textile Practices
We recognise the value of a variety of qualifications and relevant experience and welcome applications from students who have followed less traditional routes. For further information visit the individual subject pages on this website or consult the Tariff Table on the UCAS website.
Your UCAS application will tell us about your qualifications and previous experience, but studying the arts is about more than can be captured on forms. We need to find out about your creative potential, your abilities and idiosyncrasies, so we will invite you to attend an interview and to show a portfolio of your work.
Applications for our range of postgraduate study – including MFA, MDes and MA in Creative Education – can be made throughout the year online, via the downloadable application form on our Masters programmes course page. More information on the Graduate School can be found here, and you can also visit us at a Postgraduate Open Evening to learn more.
We also offer a range of creative Extended Diplomas and a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design. For Pre-Degree study you can apply online by selecting your chosen course within the course area of our Pre-Degree page and clicking on the 'Apply online' option. Applications can be made at any time during the year.
As part of the Pre-Degree application process, we also interview all students – with interviews held in the evening approximately once a month throughout the year. Interview evening dates for 2016/17 can be found on our website.
For 2016/17, our fees for undergraduate degrees for UK, EU and international students are £9,000 per year. For our Masters programmes our 2016/17 fees are £5,500 per year for full time UK students and £2,750 for part time students. International students' fees are £7,000.
For more information on our fees and details of bursaries available please visit our website.
The college welcomes a growing number of international students and draws upon an art school ethos without frontiers. Our admissions team is here to help you prepare for your stay and give you practical advice about living in the UK. You can request more information or ask us a question by contacting [email protected]
Our International Fees are very competitive and are less costly than many of our competitors:
For 2016/17, our undergraduate degree fees for international students are £12,000 per year (three year course), Extended Diplomas are £6,283 per year (two year course), International Foundation Diploma is £9000 (one year course) and Masters programmes are £7,000 per year.
Our students tell us that our open-plan, open-door studios and workshops, and our specialist, professional equipment are essential for the thinking, designing and making that goes into their award-winning work. Here’s just a preview of the kind of resources and equipment that you can expect to have access to if you choose to study with us…
Crammed full of specialist information on design, visual arts, crafts and the media, Plymouth College of Art’s library is an enviable resource offering students over 20,000 specialist books and subscriptions to more than 130 different magazines, journals and newspapers to support and inform their studies. Our comprehensive online web catalogue system can be accessed from home or the college, as well as many other online databases such as JSTOR and Oxford Art Online. Users can search all online databases simultaneously with a metafind search technique making research simpler and quicker. Access to the Joint Academic Network (JANET) provides further research and communication opportunities. We belong to a number of professional bodies such as the British Film Institute, the Craftsmen’s Potters Association and the Art Libraries Association enabling students and staff to access a range of professional literature and information services. Students can also use the library to access the stock of other libraries through a national interloan scheme, and The Plymouth Central Library is also only a minute’s walk away.
Animation, Film and Photography Studios
Our students make full use of our industry-standard dedicated studio spaces – including our infinity cove, green screen, and specialist sound studio (with Foley pit and vocal recording booth) – plus our stop-motion suite, our darkrooms, and plenty of individual edit suites, all up-to-date with the latest industry-standard software.
Ceramics and Glass Workshops
With a glass furnace that works at 1,100 degrees, 10 potters wheels, resources for hot, warm and cold glass processes, a plaster room for mould making, 16 kilns, a well-stocked glaze mixing area and individual studio space, our Ceramics and Glass Workshops have a real ‘wow’ factor, rivalling any art school around the country.
With north-facing windows, a ‘methods and process’ area, individual studio space and a specialist life-drawing studio, our impressive, open-plan, triple-height Drawing Studio is a huge space, perfect for many different activities and specialisms.
Our ‘fabrication laboratory’ is kitted-out with the latest in digital design technologies – from 3D printers to 3D scanners, a vinyl cutter, CNC milling machine, CNC router and laser cutter. It adds a whole new level of opportunity for students across all creative walks of life.
This large professional studio offers a real-life fashion experience in a fabulous space with sea views. Specialist industrial and domestic sewing machines, a range of knitting machines and a wide stock of fabrics and knitting yarns sit alongside a media and marketing Mac suite, a fully operational CAD cutting facility, and a library of designer garments to inspire.
Fine Art Printmaking
A fantastic facility supporting fine art printmaking, our dedicated space caters for a wide range of programmes and processes. You’ll get access to a 150-year-old Columbian press, an Albion press, an historic and rare wallpaper press, and an automatic FAG proofing press, plus a broad selection of metal and wood type, vacuum screen-printing beds, and four etching presses.
Jewellery Design Studio
Housed in our fantastic new Craft, Design and Fabrication Workshops, this stunning space provides everything for contemporary and traditional techniques in jewellery design, including benches supplied with gas and oxygen, in-house metal casting resources, hand and machine-forming tools, facilities for vitreous enamelling, and a separate chemical room for etching, anodising and patternation. We also have larger metalwork equipment for welding, brazing, cutting and grinding.
Printed Textile Design Studios
With views out to sea and 35 metres of print tables to encourage experimentation, our Printed Textile Design Studios also boast digital embroidery resources, industrial sewing machines, sublimation printers, a dye lab, heat presses, a tufting gun and a Mac suite. It’s got to be one of the best printed textile workshops in the UK.
The Print Lab and Equipment Resource Centre
The Print Lab offers affordable and quick print services for all our students who are looking for anything from large-format or solvent printing, to photo printing, scanning or vinyl cutting, and a wide range of finishing services. And our highly experienced Equipment Resource staff can advise you on which of our 6,000 pieces of industry-standard kit – from underwater cameras to traditional large format cameras and all free to hire – will best meet your needs.
Woods and Plastics Workshop
Alongside the latest in new technology, we value the long-standing traditions of making in wood and plastics – and have developed an excellently-resourced workshop that is open to all our students. It boasts a wide range of kit, including an impressive CNC router, plenty of saws and lathes, and strip-heaters, as well as greenwood-working facilities.
All students and staff have full access to lynda.com's incredibly helpful, informative and definitive catalogue professional video tutorials. The college has a full campus licence meaning students can access Lynda.com's thousands upon thousands of videos – from developing specific PhotoShop skills, how to get the most out of InDesign, and much, much more – across multiple devices and from in college or at home.
The College Shop
The College Shop are experienced and on-hand to give you advice and support on your project needs. The shop stocks basic art materials including; paper, card, board, tracing paper, mount board, sketchbooks, workbooks, pens, pencils, glue sticks, sticky tapes etc. There is also a range of digital storage including CDs and DVDs. Specialist art and design materials can be ordered from the college shop along with reprographic services, scanning and binding.
Plymouth College of Art Students’ Union aims to represent, campaign and provide services for students in every aspect of their college life, from academic and social, to welfare and personal support. Our Students’ Union runs a range of clubs and societies where students can join, meet like-minded people, organise events and talks and more. The SU also organises events and trips for students to attend, and annually elects a student body to represent students.
Medical and welfare services
The College offers a variety of free in-house services through the Student Hub to support you during your studies including mentoring, student counselling, health services and referrals and wellbeing workshops.
You begin your professional career the moment you step into the college. Our teaching staff and technicians are practising artists, our visiting lecturers bring a wealth of insight and our culture of live briefs keeps things feeling real. We encourage students to think for themselves as practitioners – photographers, illustrators, designers, filmmakers – from day one. We'll support you to find experiences that will fit in and around your studies, including provision of workshops, placements and internships, careers advice before and for up to three years after graduation, and alumni support.
The college is committed to ensuring education is accessible and affordable for all, and we offer a variety of financial support options to help students with their study. The range of potential funds are outlined below and can seem complicated - please feel welcome to contact the Student Finance team on 01752 203423 or [email protected]
When you choose Plymouth College of Art you also get the opportunity to choose from a variety of dedicated Halls and Houses. All of our rooms are designed to suit your taste and budget with no deposit, no bills and no additional fees. Our properties are ideally located around the campus and surrounding area, so you’ll only ever have a short walk to get to college – great if you have an early start!
Most students in their first year choose to live in a Student Hall of Residence. These provide a fun and safe introduction to independent living: all of our halls rooms offer ensuite bathrooms, and have bright and airy communal areas, with cooking, dining and social facilities. Rooms are fully furnished to a modern standard, and you can stay for 50 weeks of the year. You will share your flat with other Plymouth College of Art students, and to top it off you also get a regular cleaner for the communal areas. There will be a flat screen television in the lounge and in some halls, even a pool table.
Student houses are a great way to jump straight into the student lifestyle. Often a mix of first, second and third year students, our houses all offer a great home while you study. As an extra plus, these rooms are often bigger than in halls, but also cheaper. If you’re keen on making your student loan go further, we can offer you a wide range of shared houses of different styles and sizes. You can also contact our Accommodation Officer for any queries or recommendations, call 01752 500511 or email [email protected]
Plymouth College of Art Accommodation Service is provided in association with Clever Student Lets.
Find out more about our accommodation on our website.
Before deciding where and what to study, it’s important that you find out as much as you can about the place and the course you are interested in. Our Open Days are a chance for you to get a feel for Plymouth and the College, to see for yourself just what stands us apart and what we can offer.
You’ll meet staff and students where you can find out more about the courses, obtain financial advice, be shown around our workshop and studio spaces and have the chance to explore our vibrant and exciting city to help you make your decision about studying here.
As well as meeting our passionate students and expert staff, our Open Days are a chance for you to explore our world-leading studio spaces – with courses across all areas of the college holding demonstrations and workshops that you get try your hand at. These range throughout the year but regular workshops include portrait photography, print demonstrations, and glass-blowing.
Help on the day
Need assistance to make the most of your visit? We'll be happy to help however we can from arranging support to get you around the college to scheduling a BSL interpreter. Email [email protected] telling us what you need and the date of the Open Day you plan to attend. We ideally need a minimum of 2 weeks' notice to put your support in place so do let us know as soon as you can.
Can't make the Open Day?
If you’re unable to make one of our Open Days, we are more than happy to arrange a convenient time for you to visit. To book your place or arrange a date and time please email our friendly team at [email protected] or call +44 (0)1752 203434.
Plymouth is the gateway to the South West. Britain's Ocean City, we are served by a main First Great Western rail link from London Paddington and by Cross Country trains north to the Midlands and Scotland. There are frequent services from Newton Abbot, Torbay, North Cornwall and North Devon.
AddressPlymouth College of Art Tavistock Place Plymouth PL4 8AT Devon, England
Art, culture and history
Be inspired by a wide range of art galleries all over the city. Take in pre-West End and fringe theatre, or arthouse and blockbuster cinema. If history’s your thing, Plymouth has tales to tell of Drake, Darwin and the Pilgrim Fathers. The old port area – The Barbican – offers narrow cobbled streets and Elizabethan warehouses. Built in the early 1800s, the Grade 1 listed buildings of Royal William Yard now house modern art galleries, studio spaces, a local food market and a thriving creative business community.
If you’re after pubs, bars and clubs, Plymouth won’t disappoint. And there’s a huge music scene – everything from intimate gigs with unsigned bands to big names in the city’s largest venue, Plymouth Pavilions.
There are miles of stunning coastline and green spaces to explore. The rugged moors of Dartmoor are close by – the perfect location to paint, film or take photographs.
Our College is next to a shopping mall but for small, independent shops, there’s a wealth of historic areas from Southside Street to the Grade 1 listed Royal William Yard. You can find antique and vintage wares, art galleries and plenty of places to stop for coffee or dinner.
Take a high-speed train to London or hop on a ferry straight to France. Plymouth has great rail, road and sea links to the rest of the UK and Europe, and both Exeter and Bristol offer international airports without the need to travel to London. Want to stay closer to home? Hop on a local ferry to beautiful waterside villages and sandy beaches or visit the cathedral city of Exeter, Tate St Ives or The Eden Centre for a concert.
Getting better all the time
Plymouth is constantly changing and developing. Our college is in the middle of an exciting ‘cultural quarter’ and Plymouth is riding a wave of cultural change that we welcome you to become part of.
What do you look for in your students?
We’re passionate about innovation, collaboration, community, making, and putting creativity into action. We’re interested in hearing from inquisitive students with ideas and energy, who share our passion.
Do you have any famous or notable alumni?
- Harry Borden, photographer
- Charles Dance, British actor
- Candice Farmer, photographer
- Raymond Hawkey, British designer and author
- Keith Rowe, British musician and painter (AMM)
- David Mckee, British author
How much of an emphasis do you place on building workplace skills like presenting, project management and people skills?
Our students begin their professional careers the moment they step into the college: we encourage everyone to think of themselves as practitioners – photographers, illustrators, designers, filmmakers – from day one. All our programmes show students how to combine their artistic talent with business acumen, giving them the toolkit they need to be successful in today’s creative economy. And we give our students lots of opportunities to liaise with a wide range of creative industries.
What's university welfare and disability support like?
We are fully committed to providing equal opportunities to all and strive to make adjustments to ensure that your individual learning needs are met in the best way. Our students are encouraged to discuss their needs with us as early as possible to ensure that we can put appropriate support in place in a timely way. Support is usually delivered by our in-house team of support staff, including specialist Study Skills Tutors, Mentors, Study Assistants, Practical Support Assistants, Note Takers and BSL Interpreters.
What support is available to students who are struggling for any reason?
The college’s in-house services include mentoring, student counselling, health services and referrals, and wellbeing workshops. Appointments with the Student Hub Counsellors are professional and confidential and you can get support for a range of issues such as: Anxiety and depression, abuse, bereavement, self-harm, issues that affect your academic work, issues at home, eating problems, and bullying or harassment.
Is it a campus or city based university? What advantages do you think this offers?
Our city centre campus is a thriving creative hub of collaboration and innovation, thinking and making. A close-knit community where artists, designers and makers combine, it’s a place to explore and experiment with processes and materials, both contemporary and traditional, on and off campus.
What sort of societies are there?
Plymouth College of Art Students’ Union has a number of clubs and societies for students to join, across the following subjects and interests: Netball, Debating, Film, Christianity, LGBT, Marvel comics, Art & Feminism, Drama, Creative Cluster, Football, Games, Hula Hoop, Cosplay, Swimming, Sailing and GEMS Society.
How far is the campus from the town centre and what is the public transport like?
Our campus is in the heart of the city centre, with plenty of buses catering for the surrounding areas. We are also served by a Great Western Railway link from London Paddington and by Cross Country trains north to the Midlands and Scotland. There are frequent services from Newton Abbot, Torbay, North Cornwall and North Devon.
How much one-to-one contact time do students receive from their lecturers?
We’re a small college. That means that you get great access to our studios and workshops, and lots of time to work with our expert tutors and technicians. Our high-contact time sets us miles apart from other arts institutions
Roughly how many students start each year?
Around 500 students begin their studies with us each year.
What’s the ratio of male/female students?
Our ratio of male:female students is 35:65
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